Off grid A/C for the chickens?

Stephine

Songster
May 30, 2016
915
535
219
Sonoma
Hi !
It is getting HOT here and my chickens are having a hard time with it. Poor things are panting all day and the two little ones worry me most (they are 10 weeks old).
I have multiple types of water sources for them, refresh and add ice a few times a day. I have misters, which they are not crazy about but do seem to bring the temperature down a little bit. I attached them too the top of their run - I wish I could put them a bit higher so it wouldn't get quite so wet underneath, but I have 2 layers of shade cloth over the top of the run that wouldn't let the mist through...
I have tried putting a large plastic pan with bricks and water in the run so they can cool off their feet without having to get wet - they don't use it! Argh.
I am thinking one of those homemade ACs, with a pipe and a ice filled cooler and a fan would be great - but we have no electricity down near the coop. We do have, however, abundant sunshine .
Do you know of a solar powered fan that would be good for this? Or a different kind of AC set up that might work?
Thank you!!!!
(Not sure how I will get them through tomorrow... 102 in the forecast, which means it will be 106 here...
I will set up the brick and water pan again - maybe throw some treats on there until they get the idea..
 

Howard E

Crowing
Feb 18, 2016
2,782
3,663
286
Missouri
Helps to understand their physiology. They don't sweat and fans and such would only cool the limited skin area of combs, etc. Their radiator is a set of special lung sacs......so when they are panting, they are cooling themselves by expelling moisture. So #1 thing you absolutely need to do is provide an abundance of cool (not ice cold) fresh water for them at all times. Cool water goes in......is then expelled as warm, moist water vapor. That is how their radiator works.

After that, they will use any type of heat sink like cool cement, cool dirt, etc. but that has to get past their feathers.

Commercial houses in warm climates use evaporative coolers to lower the overall air temp inside. Not something that is going to be feasible on a small scale.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,455
15,079
777
Southeast Louisiana
Don't worry about the ground getting wet in your situation. It won't stay wet long enough to cause a health problem. One thing I do when it gets that kind of hot is wet their run in the shade. The water evaporating will cool the ground down quite a bit as well as the air just above it. Mine spend a lot of time just laying on that wet cool ground in the shade.
 

Howard E

Crowing
Feb 18, 2016
2,782
3,663
286
Missouri
X10 on the shade. There is a flock of about 2 or 3 dozen birds a mile or so up the road.....they are kept in an open pen........no shade at all, except for the small elevated coop that is way too small for the number of birds kept there. But on any given day when the sun is out and it is hot, ALL of those birds can be seen piled up beneath the coop. We all feel the same thing......the difference between being in the full sun and in the adjacent shade. Difference is night and day.....and on a really hot day, maybe life and death for a flock of chickens.
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,109
1,696
277
Pacific Northwest
depending on how much you are willing to invest, you might consider a solar powered swamp cooler. they are very efficient, but I don't know if it's a good application for your set up, you'll have to do some reading up and see.
 

Stephine

Songster
May 30, 2016
915
535
219
Sonoma
Helps to understand their physiology. They don't sweat and fans and such would only cool the limited skin area of combs, etc. Their radiator is a set of special lung sacs......so when they are panting, they are cooling themselves by expelling moisture. So #1 thing you absolutely need to do is provide an abundance of cool (not ice cold) fresh water for them at all times. Cool water goes in......is then expelled as warm, moist water vapor. That is how their radiator works.

After that, they will use any type of heat sink like cool cement, cool dirt, etc. but that has to get past their feathers.

Commercial houses in warm climates use evaporative coolers to lower the overall air temp inside. Not something that is going to be feasible on a small scale.
Thank you - yes, I know about the water and panting to cool off.
I am trying to see if I can lower the air temperature a bit, since they are already drinking and panting all they can and never used the heat sink I offered in the shape of bricks in a tub with shallow water...
 

Stephine

Songster
May 30, 2016
915
535
219
Sonoma
Don't worry about the ground getting wet in your situation. It won't stay wet long enough to cause a health problem. One thing I do when it gets that kind of hot is wet their run in the shade. The water evaporating will cool the ground down quite a bit as well as the air just above it. Mine spend a lot of time just laying on that wet cool ground in the shade.
Last time I had to have the mister on a lot for days they caught cocci - but I guess they are immune to those now, assuming we didn't somehow get a new strain.
I will start watering their run down at night, though - that is a good idea. The misting water just stays on the surface and below everything is bone dry...
 

Stephine

Songster
May 30, 2016
915
535
219
Sonoma
Have you thought about the chances they will die if you do get a/c going for a week then it would quit?

Scott
What?
Not really. I have thought about the chances of them dying if I don't cool them down better, though...
Seriously - I am talking about rigging up a little fan to blow cool air at them from an ice filled cooler. In their run. To use on days that are 100+.
With their current set up, if their mister quit they would be in deep do-do, too.
Or if I wasn't home to serve them cool water and watermelons etc a few times during the day. That's why I am home having an eye on them...
 

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